Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy, says the English chef Mary Berry, and we all know that food is a core element of Italian culture. It makes therefore a lot of sense that our COFACE member AIAS Monza set up an original and ambitious project which used cooking as a tool for rehabilitation.
In the AIAS centre ‘La Stazione’, a group of adults hit by accidents or stroke, which changed their physical and intellectual conditions, met with the students of the local hotel management school and cooked together a number of original recipes based on the regional cooking tradition.
This creative interaction was a fun and inspiring way for them to rebuild their autonomy, their capacity to interact and to collaborate. The results are not only increased confidence, physical abilities, enriching connections and memories for all participants, but also some tangible elements, which might multiply the benefits of this experience.
The first one is a recipe book ‘Slow cooking, the taste of an emotion’, which includes the recipes developed during the workshop. It is sold by AIAS and its proceeds will be used to buy a bus adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities. The second result is a dessert called ‘La Luna di Monza’, whose recipe is also included in the book. The dessert is inspired by the medieval symbol of Monza, a red moon. The ‘Luna di Monza’ will be produced by the hotel management school and distributed to the local restaurants, and might become one of the new traditional dishes of Monza.